Economic inequality in australia since 1970s

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

The famous members of family dynasties have accumulated enormous wealth. The wealthiest two hundred wealth holders have assets ranging from $196million to $7. 1 billion (Stilwell, Frank and Jordon, 2007). The Business Review Weekly and Wealth Creators magazines celebrate the wealth concentration and connect success in terms of material prosperity. This makes other members of the society who are less fortunate in terms of material wealth feel deprived. At the same time, income inequality increased over the same period in the country. As much as the poorest section of Australia experienced an income increase the richer gets, the more substantial portion compared to the poor in any OECD country. The recent Australian experience is featured by rising prosperity and rising inequality. Australian political debates have been about Egalitarianism as a critical issue to dissect.

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Whiteford (2014) argues that despite the growing concerns of equity has lasted for the entire 20th century there is no feasible significant policy change which supports the concepts of equity irrespective of existing political regime. These efforts were aimed at countering the growing inequality effect in households or the market. In the 1990s the country witnessed growth in market income inequality quickly while on the other hand, the welfare program and tax failed to deal with polarization in terms of reducing it. The rise in inequality was aided by cutting the taxes for high income though it reduced unemployment. Card & DiNardo (2002) argues that the disparity in the country was caused by deliberate policy and decisions of increased tax and welfare reforms and social assistance.

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If there is a reduction or rather removal of the taxes of top income earners, there will be a vast inequality for the affluent section of the population and the rest of the people. This was followed by seven years of political impasse in the country. Each party, in this case, the government, businesses, and unions defended their interests and as noted by Borland, Gregory and Sheehan (2001) there was restructured and unprecedented economy coupled by the election of new labor government after the end of the political impasse in 1983. The government had to propose price and agreement in income accord which was part of a trade union. This guaranteed wage restrains and industrial peace. This was a way of improving social wage and protecting real wage.

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Statistics indicate that most of the population in Australia experience no indication the Australian growth rate (Brandolini and Smeeding, 2009). In the period between 1976-2006, the average real income of the country per household grew by 32. 2 percent. The growth was 17. 9 percent taking top 1 percent. It is worth to note that the unskilled labor demand in Australia has been at very low levels and this is attributed to the production system which relies on advanced technology and information technology. Unskilled workers cannot be used in such technologies as they lack knowledge and expertise to produce using these technologies. It, therefore, follows that the rise of the production system requires the skilled and educated staff. The demand for qualified staff high compared to unskilled personnel who are less educated.

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For example, in the country manufacturing industry high trained skill staff takes all the slots of jobs as skilled production is required. Bibliography Alderson, AS, Beckfield J & Nielsen F 2005, “Exactly how has income inequality changed? Patterns of distributional change in core societies,” International Journal of comparative sociology, vol. 46, no. 5-6, pp. 405–23 Atkinson, AB, Piketty T & Saez E 2011, "Top incomes in the long run of history," Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 49, no. Brandolini, A. and Smeeding, T. M. Income inequality in richer and OECD countries. The Oxford handbook of economic inequality, pp. The suffering middle: Trends in income inequality in Australia, 1982 to 1993–94. Australian Economic Review, 30(4), pp. Marks, G. N. and McMillan, J. Who gets what? Analyzing economic inequality in Australia. Cambridge University Press.

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